14 new CDs released in ‘The Beat Goes On’ series

Fourteen more compact discs have been added to “The Beat Goes On” series of historic drum corps recordings from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. As always, these recordings are digitally remastered from the original tapes of Stetson D. Richmond and Alf Wateska, drum corps’ most prolific recording team, and are available exclusively from Drum Corps World.

The cream of the 1958 Midwest crop can be heard in their performances at the South Milwaukee “Spectacle of Music,” jointly recorded by two drum corps audio icons, Stetson D. Richmond and Ken Kobold. This edition of the premier annual Midwest contest also drew the Holy Trinity Cadets over Massachusetts, testing their mettle against that of the Cavaliers, Madison Scouts and Norwood Park Imperials.

Stunning quality recordings of the 1960 Dream Contest are now available, thanks to advanced remastering techniques. Even if you already own Stetson D. Richmond’s recordings of this event, you have no idea what scorching sound awaits on the CD version. Volume 1 presents the senior portion of the contest, a literal who’s-who of top senior units of the day.

Only in this unique contest could the powerful Reilly Raiders bring up the rear on the recap, pitted against the Princemen in their prime, the fully-rebuilt (and then some) Skyliners, vintage Archer-Epler and the state-of-the-art Hawthorne Caballeros. (Volume 2, covering the juniors, will be in a future release.)

The strength of the Penn-Jersey Circuit in 1962 demanded more than just the one                previously-released CD of coverage. The newly-issued volume 2 is led off by the prized recording of Our Lady of Loretto and also features the Haddon Heights Vagabonds earning their          first-ever victory over their neighbors from Audubon, heard from already on volume 1.

Speaking of strength, never was there more depth in the New Jersey American Legion          competitive field than in 1964. Two dozen units squared off in Wildwood that day. Most of them, including such famous names as Blue Rock and Muchachos, have eluded collectors of recordings until now.

Accordingly, three CDs have been filled with the best units hand-picked for inclusion.

The Allegheny County Fair contest proved to be an interesting mix of top junior contenders in late-season form. At the 1965 event, the Midwest was represented by the Kilties and Vanguard, while the East sent Sac, St. Lucy’s and Vasella to this Pittsburgh-area showdown. A rare recording of the De La Salle Oaklands provides even more incentive to own this disc. But perhaps the      “in-your-face” flavor of these recordings is the greatest incentive, contrasting with the “indoor nationals” of that year.

In our continuing effort to make up for lost senior coverage in 1968, we present the only DCA finalist that was never on a DCA album — the 1968 Marching Ambassadors from Toronto.

Erie’s “Holiday of Music” also hosted another DCA finalist, the Hamburg Kingsmen, and         several other fine senior competitors.

Another Pittsburgh-area clash of juniors in late tour took place in Butler, PA, in 1970. “Festival of Champions” caught several Midwestern powers in peak form, most notably the late-blooming Kilties nailing numerous risky horn parts that day.

Our series of releases from the Red Carpet Association senior circuit continues with the 1970 championship show, the first of their title bouts to be recorded. Alf Wateska was on top of his game, recording these corps in sparkling clarity. Two CDs are not enough to hold all these entertaining units (and thus, our apologies to the Westshoremen, who will soon be part of another 1970 release).

The Eastern States Circuit was home to many up-and-coming talents in the Eastern drum corps scene. Imagine a contest with George Hopkins, Jim Prime and Don Van Doren all marching in their respective corps. Well, you don’t have to imagine, you can hear just such a contest on this disc from the 1972 championship, recorded by Stetson D. Richmond.

As it was in 1977, the 1978 American International Open contest proved to be a crucial event for corps not following the tour to Denver for DCI that year. Without these recordings, open-class surprises like Royal Brigade, Empire State Express and the Precious Blood Cardinals would not have had professional-quality recordings that year. Check out how these units stacked up against their peers, as the full finals contest is available on two CDs. The expanding drills of the era had no adverse effect on Alf Wateska’s recording results this night.

Ordering details for these new CDs are included in the June 24 and July 8 issues of Drum Corps World. The additional 50 CDs that have been released over the past year are included in the as well. Go to the icon marked “New Historic CDs.”

You can also visit the DCW online store, where all 64 “The Beat Goes On” CDs are listed along with other products like subscriptions, volume 2 of “A History of Drum & Bugle Corps” and back issues.